“AMANDLA: It was when I was 12 and I got cast in The Hunger Games, and people called me the N-word and said that the death of my character, Rue, would be less sad because I was black. That was the first moment I realized being black was such a crucial part of my identity in terms of the way that I was perceived and how it would affect any line of work that I wanted to pursue. I often find myself in situations where I am the token black person. It can feel like this enormous weight. I have definitely had moments when my hair felt too big or like I needed to make myself…
SOLANGE: Smaller. ”-Teen Vogue
Often times, as adults we tend to overlook the voice and potential impact that a conscious teenager could have on our adult pysche. We feel that since a teen hasn’t been through as much in life as an adult, they couldn’t possibly offer any insight on life. In 2016, the unconscious teenager is a thing of the past.
For those of you who have never heard of Amandla, this is your time to get familiar. The 17 year old actress has something to say, an activist in her own right, Amandla will stop at nothing to wake up the world.
Amandla graces the cover of February’s issue of teen vogue. Unlike other issues, the teens interview was conducted by none other than our fav, Solange Knowles. Meeting of the minds is an understatement, the two natural haired beauties poetically expressed their views on being a black woman in society.
“I think that as a black girl you grow up internalizing all these messages that say you shouldn’t accept your hair or your skin tone or your natural features, or that you shouldn’t have a voice, or that you aren’t smart. I feel like the only way to fight that is to just be yourself on the most genuine level. I know when I used to chemically straighten mine, I did it because I wasn’t comfortable with my natural hair. I thought it was too poofy, too kinky. So for me, personally, when I started wearing it natural, it felt like I was blossoming because I was letting go of all the dead hair and all the parts of me that had rejected my natural state. But, you know, it’s not like that for all black girls. Some have their hair straight because that’s just how they like it, and it doesn’t mean that they accept themselves less.” –Amandla Stenberg.
For more on Teen Vogue’s February cover girl, Amandla Stenberg, pick up Febrauary’s issue of Teen Vogue.